Easy-going, swathed in sunshine and effortlessly beautiful, Perth is a city that’s on the up. Sure, it’s the most isolated capital city in Australia – and potentially the world – but we assure you this western gem is worth every minute of the journey to get there. Increasingly cultural, creative and modern, Perth touts green parks and sultry beaches, colonial charm and cosmopolitan flair, trendy dining and boutique breweries. It's a city infused with laidback vibes and genuine locals, but with enough to do to keep you busy from sunrise to sunset. Here’s a glimpse of what a great weekend away in Perth looks like.
DAY 1 - SATURDAY
9.30AM: Wake up to a world of green
Kick off your weekend surrounded by blooms, grassy rolling hills and beautiful gardens. Kings Park is one of the biggest inner city parks in the word, and through a frame of towering trees, beautiful skyline and glistening river views abound. This green oasis is also home to a viewing tower, restaurant and cafe, and a tree-top walkway that winds through the canopy. For a free guided walk, catch the tour at 10am departing from Fraser Avenue outside the arts and crafts shop, Aspects of Kings Park, or else hire a bike and wheel your way around.
12.00PM: Lunch with a side of views and history
Frilled by leaves at the base of Kings Park’s Mt Eliza, The Old Brewery is the perfect place to stop and refuel for lunch. One of the most awarded craft breweries in Western Australia and a highly acclaimed steak restaurant, it also claims a nifty spot on the banks of the Swan River. A heritage site where the first stone was laid by early pioneers in 1838, here history, fine food and fabulous views meet.
1.30PM: City centre discoveries
Turn the pace up a notch and delve into the city centre, though admittedly, even here Perth retains a relaxed and laidback feel. Browse the shops and souvenirs along Hay Street Mall and Murray Street, amble through the cobblestone streets and Elizabethan style architecture of the beautiful London Court arcade, and to Perth’s own flashy high-scale Rodeo Drive, brimming with boutiques and bars along King Street.
3.30PM: Cultural escapades
From Rodeo Drive, find your way to William Street and over the railway tracks via Horseshoe Bridge to find yourself in artsy and colourful Northbridge. All within a stone’s throw of each other stands the Art Gallery of WA, the Cultural Centre, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and the WA Museum. The Perth Mint is also here, opened in 1899 as one of only six branches of London’s Royal Mint. They’re all open until 5.00pm so choose one to explore before the doors close. Alternatively, skip the beach tomorrow morning and explore it all more in depth then.
5.30PM: Trendy drinks and dinner
Northbridge is a trendy hub for nightlife, live music and dining. Seek out one of the great bars pouring fine Western Australian wines and craft brews to wind down before snagging a seat at one of the many fabulous restaurants. From Mexican and Asian to African and modern Australian, the culinary flavours coming out of the kitchens are varied and delicious, all in a wonderful atmospheric setting. The merry mood continues late into the night for those looking to keep themselves entertained after dinner.
DAY 2 - SUNDAY
9.30AM: Sun, sand and sea
Dip your toes into the sand, feel the sunny rays on your cheeks and dive in to the beautiful waters at Cottesloe Beach, one of Perth’s most popular stretches of shoreline. Oozing a fun and lively feel throughout summer, the beach is lined with a beautiful grassy terrace and picnic areas, and numerous cafes and a few good pubs dish up food and coffee. Just 15 minutes from the city centre and half way to Fremantle, Cottesloe is worth a wander even if you forgot to pack your swimmers.
12.00PM: Seaside lunch
When you get to heritage-laden, seaside Fremantle, head straight to Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour to lunch on the freshest seafood in town. Choose from one of the brilliantly located cafes and restaurants overlooking the colourful boats bobbing on the water – but if you’re sitting outside, watch out. The seagulls are renowned to lurk in the wings ready to pounce on any undefended bites.
1.00PM: Try the famous local brew
Right next to the harbour with its own slice of the water’s edge awaits one of the most famous local breweries: Little Creatures. Well-loved for its Pale Ale, Bright Ale, Pilsner, Rogers and Single Batches, there’s nowhere better to try them and enjoy a mid-day refreshment. Brewery tours also run at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm every day.
2.30pm: Feel free to explore Freo
Fremantle offers unique insight into Perth that’s vastly different from the city areas, so wander to discover some of the local gems and wherever you go, pay attention to the grand old architecture. Adorned in Victorian and Edwardian buildings, this free-spirited ‘burb is home to fabulous museums, galleries and long-standing attractions. The WA Maritime Museum and the Shipwreck Galleries at the WA Museum are fabulous, as are the fascinating stories of the Fremantle Prison, best explored on a tour. Otherwise, be sure to pop into the iconic and colourful Fremantle Markets, running since 1897 and open ‘til 6pm, or take a wander to the Round House, the first permanent building built in the Swan River Colony and the oldest building in WA, built in late 1930.
TIP: A great way to get around Fremantle is using the free bike rental system from the Fremantle Visitor Centre.
6PM: Drinks and dinner on the Cappuccino Strip
Once the sun goes down, Fremantle fosters a bustling bar and restaurant scene. Much of it centres on the so-called ‘Cappuccino Strip’ – a section of South Terrace brimming with al fresco eateries, pubs, bars and two key breweries: Sail and Anchor and the award-winning The Monk Brewery and Kitchen. Pull up a stool for dinner and drinks wherever takes your fancy to top off a fabulous weekend in Perth.
HAVE AN EXTRA DAY?
Rottnest Island, otherwise known as ‘Rotto’, is an iconic local institution – a favourite local getaway and an easy day trip from Perth. Just a 45 minute ferry ride away, it’s home to secluded bays, beautiful beaches and tranquil waters, and with no cars allowed on the island, it’s fabulous for exploring on foot or by bike. A famous resident of Rottnest Island is the quokka, a small, short-tailed wallaby that’s much-loved for its cute face and friendliness.
Perth city has a free transit zone for buses and trains when travel journeys are kept within the free zone. The same applies in Fremantle. For more information visit the Transperth website. Also, if you’re looking to skip Cottesloe, it’s possible to get to Fremantle from the city centre with a cruise along the Swan River.
For the latest deals on travelling to Perth browse our great range of offers online, visit your local Escape Travel or call 1300 556 855.